PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With the swearing-in of Justice Neil Gorsuch, the U.S. Supreme Court bench is now complete. So what can America expect from the court going forward?
“The court is back to where it was when Justice Scalia was on it,” said Stephanos Bibas, who runs Penn Law’s Supreme Court Clinic. “Much of writing and case law looks a lot like Justice Scalia, so we are not going to see a big shift in the balance of the court.”
Like Justice Neil Gorsuch, Bibas is a former clerk to Justice Anthony Kennedy. He predicted a swift confirmation. Now that Gorsuch is on the bench, he predicts Gorsuch will hit the ground running, beginning Monday with the final round of oral arguments.
“He’s going to sit on those last nine or so cases, he’s going to vote on them,” Bibas said. “Those decisions will issue by the end of June. He’s going to vote on them and even write opinions in one or two of them.”
Bibas says scholars will be watching Gorsuch’s vote in cases on religious liberty, expansion of class actions and use of government power — but he believes that while the Justice is conservative, he’s independent.
“Don’t assume that he’s going to vote the way Republican congressmen are going to vote,” Bibas said. “You can’t just pidgenhole him. He’s the kind of independent Justice that could rule against the Trump administration.”
At age 49, Gorsuch is expected to have an impact on the court for generations.